Liveblogging The Presidential Debate

Well, I’m tired of this whole election season because it started two years ago. Tired. Of. It. I need booze, but I’m afraid if I drink one drop I’ll keel over. Don’t worry, hearing the lies being spouted will get the adrenalin going.

Here’s the guys also liveblogging: My favorite (besides me, of course) Ann Althouse, Stephen Green and my friend, Brendan Loy.

Rachel Lucas and also liveblogging smokin’ hot commenter Cassy Fiano have joined the Piranha Party (my only problem is that ah need uh dikshonary to spell piranha). Rachel says:

You know, I’m liking McCain a little better now than I did before because like I said, he finally took his nuts out of the coffin he’s been stowing them in all year. But he’s still not good enough, and the Republican party is not good enough. Obviously I think they’re better than the Democrat party but, hello, that doesn’t really take much.

So, it’s a Town Hall meaning essentially, that it’s rigged with ostensibly “impartial” and “undecided” voters. Uh. Huh. We’ll see. And as an aside, I don’t like Tom Brokaw anymore. Let’s see if a member of the media can redeem his Obama-butt-kissing self.

8:00 CST Hello Tom, you’re looking….old and tired.

Obama periwinkle tie. McCain red tie. Hmmm….Obama looks nervous. Brokaw says “the world has changed and not for the better”.

Question #1: What will you do for old people who are losing their retirement?

Obama believes this is “the final verdict on the failure of the last eight years”. And let the lying begin–stripping regulations. REALLY? And who was stripping them? Hmmmmm?

McCain says that Americans are angry, upset and a little frightened. McCain has the answers. Energy independence and home values–buy up bad home loans in America. Isn’t that socialism? SHIZEN! The problem in America today is that “we don’t have trust in our institutions”. Ugh: First impression–McCain is sounding like a bumbling Senator. Why didn’t he go over the regulation deal that Obama said? Does he want to lose?

The only upside? Obama is as boring. Oh hell, he’s talking about parents not spending time with kids because they are working to eat.

Question #2 What will the bailout do to help the average person?

McCain calls it a “rescue”. Stabilize home values. Yikes! What about the people who followed the rules? Michelle Malkin says:

We’re going to have to do something about home values…for retirees…I would order Treasury Secretary to renegotiate home loans.”
Oh, dear.
HE WANTS TO EXPAND THE BAILOUT. He wants to do what ACORN wants to do.
We’re Screwed ’08.

Obama is coming out swinging and lying. How nice. Is he joking about warning about regulations? McCain better answer these charges. Gotta love Obama–“people don’t want to hear about politics” and then he talks politics.

Brokow redirects: Are you saying that things will get worse?

Obama says no. Um, he’s delusional.

McCain says “depends on what we do”. Americans are great. Sigh. We know.

Question #3 How can we trust either of you when both parties got us into this global economic crisis?

Obama “understands your cynicism”. “George Bush budgets”…and he’s talking about cutting spending.

McCain goes back to his reformer thing and trumpets McCain-Feingold. “The situation today cries out for bi-partisanship”, now he goes after Obama’s record. As an side: I don’t think people connect oil independence with the economic pinch today.

8:22 CST So far, Obama is winning this debate, hands down. What do you think?

Question #4 What sacrifices will you ask Americans to make?

McCain will have to cut programs that “aren’t working”.

Wow! Obama is for off-shore oil drilling and clean coal. But we have to start saving homes. Oy vey, tax breaks for fuel efficient cars. Huh. That requires effort from us? By the way, that tax break just got passed in that behemoth of a bailout.

Obama is stumbling around right now. Generally, the debate is boring. Wait a minute, Obama just got my attention–when he’s lapsing he goes to Marxist talk. He wants rich people to “pay their burden” because you can’t ask a woman who’s making $35K as a teacher to “tighten her belt”. So, go after people who are making money and employing the little people.

McCain is answering this. Obama’s tax increases on small businesses will hurt the very people he wants to help.

Question #5 Brokaw is breaking rules “Would you tighten up on Social Security and Medicare.”

Obama won’t answer that straight. He’s going back to the tax cuts for 95% of workers. A friend writes “Obama = Hoover”. Every time I hear Obama say “fair” I think communism. It’s a knee-jerk reaction.

McCain “it’s not that hard to fix Social Security”…”we need to sit at the table and fix it.” Medicare is a little tougher–“have a commission”.

Commenter at RWN says:

I’d like to be the first to say….McCain is kicking his ass.
Posted by Glibertarian

Question #6: Another impartial question “What will you do to move fast to deal with Global Climate Change and creating green jobs?” [Wow, is that a direct lift from Obama’s campaign page?]

McCain differs with Bush. Well, I think he’s smart to have an answer because it’s politically expedient, but hells bells woman, you’re really concerned about this? You know what that makes me think? It makes me think the economy isn’t that bad.

Obama “this is one of the biggest challenges of our times.” And he actually favors nuclear power. Uh huh. Obama is going after McCain’s history of voting against alternative fuels. That sounded like an attack to me. I thought Obama didn’t attack.

Tom’s follow-up: Should we fund a “Manhattan like project to solve Global Warming”? Meh.

McCain goes after Obama’s obfuscation. And he explains oil’s importance.

Question #7: Selling health care coverage as a commodity is a lucrative industry.

It’s the framing of these questions that sounds remarkably DEMOCRAT to me. What the hell? Who are these people? And who says “commodity” and “lucrative” regarding health care and I’m in the health care profession.

Obama is going to lower insurance premiums by MAGIC! Woo hoo! And it’s going to happen by putting medical forms on the internet. Hmmm…will the government control this? (I’m for this, by the way, but the devil is in the details of HOW this is done with protecting privacy).

McCain is talking health records on line too, walk-in clinics to impose efficiencies. McCain goes after Obama’s big-government solution. McCain talks about going across state lines to get health care. This is HUGE. If this one thing was done, it would introduce competition. Good answer.

Brokaw: Is health care a privilege, right or responsibility?

McCain says responsibility.

Obama says health care is a RIGHT. He’s MR. SOCIALISM. ARGHHHHHHHHHH! How is he going to lower premiums? Oh, and Obama is going to go after health insurance companies who “cheat the customers”. Big government. Scary.

Question #8: How is the economic crisis going to affect America’s roll as ‘peacemaker’?” Again, this question is framed in Obama’s favor.

McCain–the question is to know when American help can make a difference. McCain is talking about judgment.

Obama is talking Iraq. And talking about taking the Iraqi money. Same old answer.

Brokaw–What is the Obama Doctrine and McCain Doctrine for the use of military force?

Obama “we may not have a military obligation but a moral obligation”. He would have gone into Rwanda. When genocide is happening and we stand idly by, it diminishes us. Hmmm…he’s interventionist as long as it’s cruel and NOT in America’s interest. He’d set a no-fly zone in Darfur.

McCain goes after Obama about Iraq and Obama being wrong. McCain wants a “cool hand at the tiller”. He talks about Somalia–we were sent in as “peace keepers and tried to act as peace makers” and had to come home in defeat. McCain sounds solid on this.

Question #9 Do we go into Pakistan?

Obama–Afghanistan and Pakistan is central front on terrorism. End Iraq. Blah, blah, blah.

McCain calls out Obama for being irresponsible for “announcing an attack against a country”. He says our relations with Pakistan are critical.

Ace says that Obama is notorious for packing the crowd with friendlies and he’s asking everyone to keep track of the names.

Brokaw: The senior British commander and Cooper Cole, “what we need is an acceptable dictator”.

Obama: We are going to have to make the Iraqi gov’t take responsibility because we’ll need more troops in Afghanistan. Obama says a democracy in Afghanistan.

McCain: Gen. Petreaus just took over command for Afghanistan and will bring the same strategy to Afghanistan, the surge. McCain wants to bring this to Afghanistan.

Question #10: How do we affect pressure on Russia without having another cold war?

McCain says Russia, led by Vlad Putin, the Russians aren’t playing nice. Use economic and diplomatic leverage against them.

Obama says we have to “see around the corners”. Obama, once again, was telepathic like everyone else paying attention.

Is Russia under Putin an evil empire?

Obama “they have evil actions”.

McCain “maybe”. Crowd laughs. “I think we can deal with Russia but they need to understand that they’re dealing with a tough America.”

Question #11: If Iran attacks Israel, would we wait for the UN Security Council?

McCain: No. Iran is a threat not just to Israel but to the whole Middle East.

Obama says he will do “everything that’s required to prevent” Iran getting nukes. Uh huh.

John Hawkins says that McCain sounds better on military. Obama is better on economy and the economy is the much bigger problem. He says Obama is winning. So pbbbblt! I think you guys are looking through Republican, and not independent eyes.

Question #12 What don’t you know and how will you learn it?

Obama is talking about the American dream.

McCain says we don’t know what will happen because of “unprecedented challenges”. What he won’t know is what the unexpected challenges will be. McCain knows what it’s like in dark times. He knows what it’s like to rely on comrades for support and courage and love. He believes in the country and it’s greatness.

A Senate Insider IMs me and says: “It’s a draw. Debate doesn’t change anything.”

Brit Hulme says the debate moderator seemed most concerned about getting his time to get the questions out. Brokaw seemed the biggest ego in the room and that’s saying a lot.

Final thought: Boring. This whole thing was boring. The questions Brokaw picked were lame.

Frank Luntz’s Focus Group: Found the debate interesting. Wow. The majority liked Obama better. What a bunch of dumbasses. And they’re deciding the election? Help. Us. All.

Anything neutral benefits Obama. McCain has to be better than good. He has to be great. In basketball (sorry, for the sports analogies political junkie nerds), you don’t win by playing defense and I felt like both candidates were trying to NOT make a mistake rather than trying to make a positive point. Playing safe serves neither of them, but certainly doesn’t serve McCain. He needs to be knocking down three-pointers.

My feeling is that Obama will pull away after this, but time will tell. If I had to say, though, I say Obama wins.

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